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Pac Health Dialog. 2000 Sep;7(2):88-91.

Regional training in public health surveillance: how far are we? An SPC perspective.

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Public Health Surveillance and Communicable Diseases Control Section, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), PO Box D5, 98848 Nouméa, New Caledonia.


"Training in applied epidemiology and public health surveillance" is one of the five strategies of Pacific Public Health Surveillance Network (PPHSN). It aims to develop a regional pool of experts in public health surveillance and response for the Pacific Islands. In 1996, the idea of a modular training programme with field-based components, involving universities, health development agencies and professional associations came up. This programme should be accredited by a training institution. From 1998 to 2001, SPC made a first move in that direction and ran two different series of subregional training sessions in surveillance, outbreak investigation and the use of Epi Info 6 software for surveillance activities. The overall objective of these training sessions was to build a critical mass of health professionals who share a common set of tools and methods for public health surveillance. SPC can also provide attachment and hands-on field training opportunities for trainees in public health practice. A memorandum of understanding was signed between SPC and FSM in 1999. The article suggests the areas of future FSM/SPC collaboration in public health surveillance: the accreditation of SPC courses by FSM; the addition of a microbiology component; the identification of opportunities for field training; and the evaluation and harmonisation of the training programme(s).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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